CHILLICOTHE— Summertime is a time of relaxation and vacations. Not everyone likes to go away to enjoy their summer and luckily for those in Ross County they don’t have to.
Ross County features tons of places and events to enjoy over the summer. With such a wide variety there is sure to be something that everyone will enjoy.
“There is something for everyone,” said Melody Young, Executive Director of the Ross-Chillicothe Conventions & Visitors Bureau.
Great Seal State Park
If you enjoy being outside in nature Ross County has you covered with five state and national parks. These parks offer trails for hiking, biking and horseback riding. One park any Ohioan must visit is the Great Seal State Park where hikers can see views that inspired the seal of Ohio.
The park also features a half-mile storybook trail that allows hikers to read pages of children’s stories as they walk. The book on the trail is changed throughout the year allowing people to read different stories every time they visit. This trail is home to a Free Little Library where visitors are encouraged to take a book home or leave one for others.
Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks
The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are sites that were once significant to Native Americans who lived in the area around 2,000 years ago. The sites are great examples of prehistoric architecture using landscaping as they form largescale precise shapes. Each site contains important archeological information that gives us a glimpse into the culture that once lived there.
Many locations are grouped under the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks name such as the Earthworks in Newark, the Fort Ancient Hilltop Enclosure, Hopewell Mound Group, Mound City, Seip Earthworks, Hopeton Earthworks, High Bank Earthworks and Hopewell National Historical Park.
The earthworks are currently being considered for the UNESCO World Heritage List. Being added to this list would help bring worldwide attention to the area. UNESCO also helps locations on the list with preservation so that future generations may be able to enjoy these historic sites.
In Chillicothe sits Yoctangee Park, a great place for anyone to spend the day. The park features fun for the whole family with a handicap-accessible playground, basketball court, tennis courts, baseball field, disc golf course and more. The multiple shelter houses throughout the park are a perfect place to rest and have a picnic while hidden from the sun. The entire summer many events are held in the park for people to attend.
Visitors to the pond can enjoy local wildlife during their visits like squirrels, ducks and swans. The park does allow for these animals to be fed, sometimes even providing food to be thrown in the pond. If you have your fishing license the public is able to fish at the park as well.
If you want to be outdoors but don’t want to hike consider visiting Tecumseh! The outdoor drama tells the story of the legendary Shawnee leader from the late 1700s. Crowds will be amazed by the horses, cannons, and battle sequences throughout the show. The show brings together people and units them through shared history.
“There is great history in our area,” said producer and CEO of Tecumseh! Brandon Smith. “Talking about and sharing that history is invaluable to the community.”
This year is special as Tecumseh! will be celebrating its 50th season.
Adena Mansion and Gardens
History lovers can be sure to visit Adena Mansion and Gardens where they will be transported back to 1812. This 200-acre estate once belonged to the sixth governor of Ohio Thomas Worthington. The restored house looks similar to the one the actual Worthington family lived in and even features some authentic Worthington family furniture. The museum and visitor center offers interactive exhibits while the gardens allow for visitors to slow down and enjoy the scenery and foliage.
Sports lovers can enjoy a baseball game with the Paints at the VA Memorial Stadium. The stadium offers giveaways, food and fun activities for the whole family including a covered playground for children to enjoy. With all that the stadium offers everyone will have fun whether they like baseball or not.
“You don’t have to like baseball to come to a game,” said Bryan Wickline, managing partner of the Paints.
While watching the Paints you can also cheer on local talent, like pitcher Cruz McFadden from Chillicothe. McFadden previously played baseball and football at Paint Valley high school. He and many other players call Ohio home.
Mighty Children’s Museum
The Mighty Children’s Museum located in downtown Chillicothe is a place for children where they are inspired to learn through interactive play. The museum works to provide a safe and interactive place for families and children to engage with their environment.
They feature many interactive exhibits like a pretend hospital, a dig site, farmers market and more. These main exhibits are not all the museum offers as they have smaller interactive exhibits that are switched out often to allow for a unique experience with every visit.
If you are looking for indoor entertainment look no further than Shawnee Lanes, a bowling alley open to both first-time bowlers and pros. This alley offers a fun environment for everyone to come and enjoy. If you aren’t fully enjoying the music, food and bowling Shawnee Lanes also offers an arcade with prizes for guests to enjoy. At night on the weekends, Shawnee Lanes host Thunder Alley where they turn down the lights and turn up the music to give bowlers a fun experience while on the lane.
Those who don’t know exactly what they want to do but they know they want to explore the county can download the Chillicothe app and check out the tours section. These tours take visitors on a guided trip to some must see destinations. There is an antique trail, a coffee and donut trail, a mural tour and more.
These tours take people all around the county, not just Chillicothe. For example, the mural tour shows five murals across Chillicothe, Frankfort and Bainbridge. The app also gives details about the mural that viewers otherwise might not know.
Ross County Fair
A must-see for everyone in the area is the Ross County Fair. This year will mark the 78th anniversary of the fair. Visitors will be able to view the beautiful fairgrounds, eat greasy fair food, enjoy the rides and see the many animals on display.
Fully fair 4-H members will show off their sheep, rabbits, cattle and more in hopes of winning the Grand Champion. There will also be horse shows and various entertainment
The fair takes place at the Ross County Fairgrounds and will run from Aug. 6 to Aug. 13.
With all these fun activities Ross County offers plenty for everyone to do this summer. Whether you are from the area or just visiting you are sure to have fun.
Shelby Reeves is a reporter for the Chillicothe Gazette. You can email her at SReeves@gannett.com